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Dogs, food trucks and music to take over Budd Park

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published September 27, 2019

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, so Clinton Township is making the community aware in simple fashion — by bringing the dogs to them.

From 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, people are invited to “Come Feast with Fido” as a way to raise funds for the nonprofit Humane Society of Macomb, based in Shelby Township — as well as to be introduced to canines who need a permanent home.

It will take place at Budd Park, 19000 Clinton River Road.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, states that approximately 6.5 million companion animals — including 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats — enter U.S. animal shelters annually. Each year, about 1.5 million animals are euthanized.

On the bright side, the number of sheltered dogs and cats has declined from about 7.2 million in 2011. In the same time period, the number of dogs and cats euthanized has also declined to about 1.1 million — a figure the ASPCA attributes to the number of adopted animals, including strays that are successfully returned to their owners.

In total, about 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted nationally every year.

Clinton Township Trustee Joe Aragona is a self-described ambassador for the Humane Society of Macomb, aiding in fundraising efforts and public outreach. The Clinton Township Kiwanis Club and Freddy’s Bar and Grill have aided efforts for this particular event, which is expected to feature several food trucks, pet-friendly vendors and local musician Justin Alexander playing some tunes.

It is a free community event for people of all ages.

“The coolest thing is that the Humane Society of Macomb is going to be bringing dogs for adoption,” Aragona said.

He said that just a decade ago, it was a high-kill shelter and not in the best of shape. Animal rights activists even protested against the conditions, he noted. Now it is run by a different group of individuals who have turned things around.

Kerry Jantz, of Clinton Township Kiwanis, said food truck rallies are always great community events. To be able to add furry friends increases public interest.

“Dogs and cats are our best friends,” Jantz said. “They’re always happy to see us and bring a lot of joy to families.”

Andy Lee, a volunteer coordinator at the Humane Society of Macomb, said the ability for people to learn about the shelter and other organizations, and how they utilize boarding and training practices, is “a great way to expose people to pet ownership.”

This particular shelter is independent of other local and regional humane societies. More than 1,200 animals, mostly dogs and cats, were adopted in 2018. It is a no-kill shelter in what has recently become a no-kill state, with about 90% of Michigan shelters possessing this status.

While attendees won’t be able to adopt dogs on-site, they can become familiar with them and follow up with shelter employees at their Shelby Township home — which runs 100% on donations of both money and supplies.

“We don’t sell anything; we’re 100% dependent on the generosity of the community,” Lee said. “That’s why we do these things. … Nothing draws people to events like dogs.”

For more information, contact Aragona at (586) 484-1909 or email